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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2019 Betting Odds
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F1 Drivers Championship 2019 Betting
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Constructors Title Betting 2019
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Lewis Hamilton Heads F1 Odds with Commanding Points Lead
Lewis Hamilton finds himself in a commanding position atop the Formula One drivers’ championship as the series breaks for its summer rest period, writes Nick Dorrington.
The reigning champion won eight of the 12 races contested before the break to open up a lead of over 60 points to his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas and nearly 70 to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in third. Those last-mentioned pair have each won two races apiece.
Mercedes are pretty much home and dry already in the constructors’ championship and with F1 odds that very much reflect that reality, there is little remaining value to be found there.
Red Bull’s competitiveness has improved sufficiently through the season to suggest that Verstappen, at least, will be able to continue fighting for victories when circumstances allow. However Mercedes’ pace and excellent reliability mean that Hamilton is very much worthy of his status as the heavily odds-on favourite to secure his sixth championship.
Red Bull have instituted a driver swap with their sister team Toro Rosso ahead of the remaining nine races of the year, with the underperforming Pierre Gasly replaced by the rookie Alexander Albon, who has produced some impressive drives in the Toro Rosso. The hope will be that Albon can get close enough to Verstappen’s pace to at least prevent other teams from having a free range of strategy choices when battling Red Bull’s lead driver.
Ferrari showed strong pace in pre-season testing but have failed to win a race so far and seem to have suffered from more strategy and other mishaps that their direct competitors. Both of their drivers have scored relatively consistent top-five finishes, including 11 podiums between them. So they do stand second in the constructors’ championship, but neither Sebastian Vettel nor Charles Leclerc are in contention in the drivers’ standings.
It appears that Ferrari’s design approach offers limited scope for any gains ahead of the general rate of car development in the field. They might challenge at the front at Grand Prix like Belgium and their home race at Monza, but it wouldn’t actually be all that surprising if they end the year winless and with a lower points total than in either of the last two seasons.
McLaren have come the closest to bridging the gap between the top three teams and the midfield so far this season. Twelve races in, they have already scored more points than in any of the last four seasons and are comfortably clear in fourth in the constructors’ standings, with nearly double the points of Toro Rosso in fifth. The team had set Carlos Sainz the target of beating Red Bull’s Gasly in the standings before Gasly was moved down to Toro Rosso.
While podiums would probably require wet conditions or an unlikely series of retirements ahead of them, McLaren can be expected to continue challenging for top-six finishes during what remains of the season.
Renault have had an embarrassing year to date. They finished fourth in the constructors’ championship last year and hired Daniel Ricciardo from Red Bull as part of their plan to begin to close in on the top three. Instead, they have gone backwards. They have picked up over two and a half less points per race than they did last year, have suffered more retirements (five) than all teams but Haas and are only sixth in the constructors’ standings.
They would even be a place lower had Alfa Romeo not lost two points-paying finishes at the German Grand Prix due to a technical infringement. In the hands of Kimi Raikkonen, their car has proved to be an able points scorer. If Antonio Giovanazzi can find some consistency, they arguably have a package capable of besting Renault’s in what remains of the season.
Racing Point began the year decently, scoring points in each of the first four races, but while Lance Stroll was able to grab a surprise fourth in the wet conditions at the recent German Grand Prix, they are currently on track to score far less points than they did as Force India last season. They will look to the Belgian and Italian Grand Prix, circuits where they have always gone well, as opportunities to get the second half of the season off to a good start.
Haas showed well in pre-season testing, but their year hasn’t gone at all to plan. They clearly have good underlying pace when the conditions are right, but their operating window with this year’s thinner tyre tread is so marginal that they have very rarely been able to take advantage of it. Such is their desperation that they recently went back to their season-opening spec with one of their cars to back-to-back test it against subsequent developments.
Williams began the season way off the pace at the back of the field but suddenly showed a bit of promise at the Hungarian Grand Prix before the summer break. George Russell (driving impressively in difficult conditions this year) qualified and finished 16th and had the necessary pace to keep a Racing Point and Alfa Romeo behind him on race day.
Robert Kubica took Williams’ only point to date in the wet race in Germany. If either of their drivers is to score in the remaining nine races, it is more likely to be Russell.